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State authorizes killing of some wolves in Eastern Washington pack

The authorization to kill members of the Grouse Flats pack comes a month after the state killed the entire OPT pack because of depredation.

SPOKANE, Wash. — Editor's note: The above video is from the August 2019 removal of the OPT pack in Eastern Washington. 

The state of Washington has authorized the killing of some wolves in the Grouse Flats pack, near Wenatchee, in an effort to stop the pack from preying on cattle.

Kelly Susewind, director of the Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW), on Tuesday authorized the incremental killing of members of the pack located in eastern Washington.

The agency says the Grouse Flats pack has been involved in two cattle depredations in the past 30 days, and four in the past 10 months.

The agency says livestock producers in the area have taken non-lethal steps to stop the depredations, but without success.

Under the incremental system, there is a period when some members of the pack are killed, followed by an evaluation period to see if the killings change the pack's behavior.

WDFW follows removal protocol developed and agreed upon by the Wolf Advisory Group, which is made up of organizations that range from the Washington Cattlemen's Association to the Humane Society.

SEE ALSO: Entire wolf pack preying on cattle killed in Eastern Washington

In August, the WDFW authorized the killings of the entire OPT wolf pack in Ferry County. The agency said the OPT wolf pack had been responsible for 29 depredation incidents on cattle since 2018, the WDFW said. 

Earlier in August, a conservation group filed a lawsuit seeking to prevent the state of Washington from killing more wolves from a pack that is preying on cattle.

Fearing violence and retaliation on both sides, the WDFW canceled Wolf Advisory Group meetings at the end of August. The department will be holding three interactive webinars in September and October instead of hosting open houses. 

No word yet how many wolves in the Grouse Flats pack will be killed in the first wave. 

SEE ALSO: Fearing violence, state of Washington cancels wolf meetings

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